Kenzopedia #2 : B for... Blue - Kenzine, the Kenzo official blog

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Toni Halonen is the Finnish designer who has illuminated this season's KENZOPEDIA with the vivid colours of his digital paintbox. We caught up with him to find out what makes him tick...

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KENZINE: Which was your favorite letter to illustrate? Why?
Toni Halonen: This far my favorite has been letter ‘I’. It was fun to mix KENZO's aesthetics with elements from iconography.

K: Which word would you like to hear used more?
T.H.: Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas. Thats the longest word in the Finnish language. It translates as ‘airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic non-commissioned officer student’. I would love to see someone pull that one off in a casual conversation.

 

K: How did you approach your designs?
T.H.: Well how it usually goes is that I read the brief and try to come up with some ideas without much of success. Then when I am doing something completely different the idea strikes me. I drop everything else, pick up my stylus and start sketching.

K: What values or aesthetic elements do you share with KENZO?
T.H.: Bright colors, twisted humor, hand-sketched rawness. I never had to ‘work’ on doing something KENZO. It came quite naturally.

K: What's your KENZO spirit animal? Tiger or Fish?
T.H.: Tiger. It’s actually my Japanese Zodiac sight.

K: Describe yourself in one sentence.
T.H.: Cool cat living up north, trying to make a living.

 

K: What is your favorite thing to draw?
T.H.: I would love to do more abstract works. That’s definitely something I want to concentrate more on future.

K: Your favorite font?
T.H.: Only one?! That’s like asking a DJ for his favorite song. My song could be Phil Collins in the air tonight and the font has to be Futura (the old version) even though I don't use it much anymore.

K: If you were stranded on a desert island, what could you not live without?
T.H.: My record collection.

K: If you were a color in a paint box, which would you be and why?
T.H.: Maybe a crazy multicolored one. Like those multicolored pens that you had when you were a child. And when you pushed out all the colors at the same time you could draw some crazy stuff.

K: What was the last gift you received?
T.H.: I was playing records in St. Petersburg and got some great vinyl singles from the local record boss, Kirill. Unfortunately after playing the whole night and some russian vodka they mystically disappeared…

K: KENZO is all about traveling, which city or place most inspires you?
T.H.: I have to say even that I love travelling, my home city Helsinki is the most inspiring place for me.

K: Your next dream travel destination?
T.H.: I would love to visit Marrakech in Morroco, and  check out The Majorelle Garden. I also love Morroccan carpets. There's some beautiful rawness in those from which we can all learn something.

K: If you hadn't become a graphic artist, you would have been a...
T.H.: I already changed career once. I used to study architecture before following my heart and ventured into graphic arts. So don't make me go through that again!

 

Discover Toni's work bellow :

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The concept of the journey has always been a central theme to the KENZO brand. Kenzo Takada himself was an avid traveler and the footprints from his travels far and wide can be seen in his collections. His successors, Carol and Humberto, remain faithful to this wandering spirit.

 

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Last year, Asia was the inspiration for the collections and for 2014, our adventure takes us to the West Coast of the United States. This Summer, we are driving through California taking in its sundrenched landscapes - both urban and coastal - and in Fall, we'll head up North to the rainy, mysterious cities of the Pacific North-West. 

For Spring/Summer 2014, Carol and Humberto mixed punk and minimalism to create the graphic prints and cuts of the Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

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Growing up in Los Angeles during the golden age of Californian punk, the duo was inspired by this aesthetic encompassing music, fashion and visual arts. The famous black and white logo drawn in ink of a cult band from the Orange County scene is called to mind and revisited in the collection in both tops and straight-leg shorts. This scene also conjures up the thought of waves drawn with a black felt tip pen, which were ultimately reproduced on tops and accessories.

Bluefin tuna, rainbow trout, marlin and grouper are four endangered species that are protected by the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE). These four species can be found in an exclusive KENZO pattern available in multiple versions and different colors.

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Thanks to the actions of the Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), in just a few years the bluefin tuna went from being endangered to threatened.

Devon Aoki is the face of our Spring/Summer 2014 campaign, once again conducted in collaboration with our friends from TOILETPAPER.

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Her American, European and Asian roots as well as her striking doll-like face led to her rise as one of the most unique-looking and beloved top models. For this campaign, we rediscover a siren in a surreal universe of striking colors.

A recurring color of the KENZO palette, blue dominates the Spring/Summer collections.

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From pastel hues to royal blue in the resort collection, which conveys a certain sense of tranquility and makes a subtle transition with sky blue from the fall-winter 2013 collection. It becomes more severe as the radical, neo-punk tone shifts more towards deeper, darker shades of navy, at times even International Klein Blue in the Spring/Summer collections.